Having travelled around the world on many different airlines I have never really understood the benefits of being part of an Air Miles scheme until 2 years ago when I signed up for a Customer Air Miles card with a leading airline. I signed up just to see what I could actually get out of being enrolled on a scheme.
In this post I aim to highlight my previous sceptical thoughts on Air Miles Schemes and give my experience and advice for all travellers.
Are Miles Schemes are the Same as other Bonus Point Schemes?
I have always been under the impression that Air Miles are the same as points that you collect when you shop in certain high street shops in that you have to spend a small fortune to get anything out of it. Having shopped at the same supermarket chain for years I realised that the rewards were not that great. However Air Miles are completely different in the fact that each journey that you make actually counts towards something.
You have to be a frequent flyer or a Business User?
Once again my idea of being part of a scheme like this was that unless you fly many times a year there is no advantage in collecting air miles as the monetary value is that low that you should just leave it to the frequent flyers. Well I was certainly wrong again, on one single return trip to Thailand I was able to use the points when I returned to purchase a DKNY watch free of charge. The watch on the high street had an RRP of £74.00 and since receiving that I have joined every scheme available. For business users I would definitely recommend as they allow air miles from 12 major airlines to be accumulated to all for benefits such as hotel bookings, flight changes, shopping etc all of which work well for Businesses that use these airlines.
Joining Process is lengthy and difficult
Another preconception I had of these Airline schemes was that in order to join you had to give a lot of personal information and if you met the criteria you were allowed to join and if not then well, you couldn’t be part of the scheme. In fact, I decided to join a scheme and did this online, all that was needed was the most basic of information, email address, date of birth etc and within minutes I received a confirmation and my unique customer ID number. I was also instantly informed that I would receive a personalised membership card within the post.
Normally Air miles do not expire for several years and some airlines have a no expiry on the miles meaning that no matter how long you don’t use an a a particular airline you can still get the benefits.
So whilst I am a frequent flyer I would recommend that anyone that travels on a plane whether that is once a year or 10 times a year joins each and every airline Air miles schemes that you fly on. Whilst I rarely travel consecutively on the same airline I find that if I fly with them once the probability that I will fly with them again is high. Further information and advice can be found in this forum which discusses in further detail how Air Mile Schemes work etc.